Why have thousands of dead starfish washed up on a Lincolnshire beach?
Thousands of dead starfish have mysteriously been washed up on a beach in Lincolnshire.
Photographer Simon Peck was shocked by the discovery on Cleethorpes beach and estimates 4,000 have surfaced.
Richard Harrington, communications manager at the Marine Conservation Society, told Caters News that it's actually not so uncommon: "Mass strandings of starfish and sea potatoes, a kind of sand-dwelling sea urchin, happen quite regularly in different parts of the coast.
"We were aware of a strand like this in the region at this time last year, too.
"They seem to occur most in winter, and around sandy areas, when it's likely that rough seas in shallow water dislodge them in large numbers.
"These are all common starfish Asterias rubens. The fact that there's what appear to be whelk eggs and different shells in this picture, both shallow water residents, along with the common starfish, would back up the likelihood that it is simply stormy weather that has caused this big strand.
"Strandings like this may be associated with breeding, indicated if all of the specimens that washed up are mature adults, but the common starfish tends to aggregate and spawn most in spring and summer - so that is unlikely."
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